Irma Thomas, The Soul Queen Of New Orleans, Made Dreams Come True At Arroyo Seco Review+Photos: Irma Thomas @ Arroyo Seco Weekend 6/24/18
“… Irma thomas is the “unrivaled Soul Queen of New Orleans”. While she never achieved the kind of commercial success as her contemporaries like Aretha Franklin and Etta James, she is revered by music lovers as one of THE female voices soul.
If you love classic soul, then there is no doubt that you have heard Irma Thomas’ voice. “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)”, “With Someone Would Care”, “Good To Me” … those are her gems.
At 77, Irma’s voice was still on point. The smile that exuded from her face was effervescent and she was a musically playful like a child. When her band was riffing a lick, she would scat along with her voice, proving that her instrument was as well oiled as ever.
Midway through her set, she asked how much time she had, and casually let it be known that she, “usually take[s] requests from the audience, but [her] time [was] limited.”
Just then, the a gentleman behind me shouted “Old Records”, and Irma looked over gave the gentleman a coy smile.
“Well, all right,” she beamed, “I’m gonna have to use a cheat sheet for that one.”
As she sang “Old Records”, the crowd swayed back and forth under the shade of the large tent. At the song’s conclusion, the man next to me sighed with contentment and said, “I never thought I’d hear that song live.” Wow. That got me right in my gut.
Irma concluded her set with “Time Is On My Side”, and all I could think was, “I sure hope so, Irma. Long live the Soul Queen of New Orleans”…”
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